Bulldogs Remain Sixth in USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25

March 10, 2002

Duke, which won an unprecedented fourth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title Sunday, was a near unanimous No. 1 in the final USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll.

Third last week, the defending national champions received 29 of 31 first-place votes and 773 points from a panel of Division I coaches.

The Blue Devils (29-3) are the top seed in the South Region and begin their quest for a second straight title Thursday against Winthrop in Greenville, South Carolina.

Kansas (29-3) dropped one spot to second after suffering a 64-55 loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. But the Jayhawks, who received one first-place vote, also earned a top seed in the Midwest Region and face Holy Cross in their first round contest in St. Louis.

Oklahoma (27-4) claimed the other first place vote and climbed one notch to third, but settled for a No. 2 seed in the West Region.

Maryland (26-4), which was upset by North Carolina State in the semifinals of the ACC tournament, dropped two slots to fourth. Despite the loss, the Terrapins garnered the top seed in the East and play in Washington D.C. on Friday against the winner of the play-in game between Alcorn State and Siena.

Conference USA champion Cincinnati (30-3) completes the top five and received the final No. 1 seed in the West Region. The Bearcats take on Boston University on Friday in Pittsburgh.

Gonzaga (29-3), which felt snubbed after only receiving a No. 6 seed, starts the second five, followed by Pittsburgh (27-5), Alabama (26-7), Arizona (22-9) and Marquette (26-6). Alabama and Arizona tied for eighth. Gonzaga remained sixth for the second straight week.

Connecticut (24-6), which captured its fifth Big East title Saturday, made the biggest gain of the week, jumping 11 spots to 13th.

Starting the second 10 is Oregon (23-8), followed by Big champion Ohio State (23-7), Connecticut, Florida (22-8) and Kentucky (20-9).

Illinois (24-8) and Southern California (22-9) tied for 16th, with Missisippi State (26-8), Xavier (25-5) and Western Kentucky (28-3) completing the top 20.

Mississippi State was unranked last week but entered the poll after beating Alabama, 61-58, in the Southeastern Conference championship game Sunday.

Completing the poll were Miami (24-7), Oklahoma State (23-8), Stanford (19-9), Hawaii (27-5) and North Carolina State (22-10). The Rainbow Warriors and Wolfpack also were not ranked last week.

Georgia, Indiana and California dropped out.

USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 Poll

First-place votes in parentheses.

Rank School Record Points Last Week 1. Duke (29) 29-3 773 3 2. Kansas (1) 29-3 727 1 3. Oklahoma (1) 27-4 710 4 4. Maryland 26-4 679 2 5. Cincinnati 30-3 674 5 6. Gonzaga 29-3 580 6 7. Pittsburgh 27-5 530 7 8. Alabama 26-7 498 8 8. Arizona 22-9 498 14 10. Marquette 26-6 446 10 11. Oregon 23-8 437 9 12. Ohio State 23-7 411 17 13. Connecticut 24-6 376 24 14. Florida 22-8 317 12 15. Kentucky 20-9 267 11 16. Illinois 24-8 260 15 16. So. California 22-9 260 20 18. Mississippi St. 26-7 245 NR 19. Xavier 25-5 205 23 20. West. Kentucky 28-3 204 21 21. Miami (Fla.) 24-7 189 16 22. Oklahoma State 23-8 181 13 23. Stanford 19-9 105 18 24. Hawaii 27-5 100 NR 25. N.C. State 22-10 86 NR

DROPPED OUT: No. 19 Georgia, No. 22 Indiana. No. 25 California.

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES (with season record): Georgia (21-9) 80, Indiana (20-11) 68, California (22-8) 42, Kent State (27-5) 27, Texas Tech (23-8) 23, Wake Forest (20-12) 22, Southern Illinois (26-7) 12, Notre Dame (21-10) 10, Texas (20-11) 9, Tulsa (26-6) 6, Valparaiso (25-7) 5, Butler (25-5) 3, UCLA (19-11) 3, Creighton (22-8) 2, Wisconsin (18-12) 2, Hampton (26-6) 1, Mississippi (20-10) 1, San Diego State (21-11) 1.


 

 

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